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Lifestyle Inspiration You Need: Check Out Our Newest HM-isms

By Shay Hughes

Over the years, we’ve been proud to cultivate an ethos that has helped reinforce our rich history and cherished company culture. We maintain a strong bond by constantly finding ways to enrich our company culture and making new memories through shared experiences, challenges and opportunities, both in and out of the office. A lot of these memories have transformed into valuable life lessons that reflect our tight-knit culture, and if you’ve followed us for a while, you know that we affectionately coined these phrases our “HM-isms”!

Our HM-isms are fun, yet encouraging sayings that our team uses in team meetings, on phone calls and around our offices, which serve as inspiration during the workday and in our personal lives. With the ultimate goal of bringing everyone along on the journey of growth and learning, we share these stories with our team as we continue to expand, so that we never forget where we’ve come from or what makes our team so special. Below are two of our newest HM-isms, as well as some of our seasoned favorites out of the 40+ we have collected over the years! We hope they resonate with you and your team, too!

Make Good Choices

John Jarvis and his wife Sara had the good fortune to raise their three children within walking distance to their local middle and high schools. Every morning, they would send them out the door for the short walk to school, lunch bags in hand. As John likes to describe, it was a really sweet scene. A wonderful mom with a great sense of humor, Sara had a daily tradition as the kids walked out through the gate each morning. She would say in a forced high pitch, rather silly voice, “Make good choices!” and their kids would smile, or sometimes grimace or groan, and walk on to meet up with friends. Like so many silly things that parents do, it carried a hidden message. Well, actually, not hidden at all. Make good choices every day. There it is, and it isn’t silly at all—it’s a roadmap for life. We all have personal agency, we have the power of choice, every moment of every day. What choices will you make? Temptation, fatigue, distress and doubt—these are the signposts trying to lead us in the wrong direction. Don’t follow them. Go the other way. Make good choices!

There are no bumps in the road. It is the road.

David Marino was having lunch with a client, when the conversation shifted to the different challenges we face throughout life (“just a bump in the road”), to which his client shared, “there are no bumps in the road. It is the road.” David was intrigued by this perspective because it holds so much weight in its simple truth, and went on to share this inspiring message during one of our all-team meetings. Life leads us in so many directions, some in which we feel joy, others where the peak is difficult to climb, and other times when we aren’t certain what is ahead. Rather than seeing the challenges we face as bumps in the road, David encouraged the team to recognize that it is the road, and the road naturally has many twists and turns, smooth areas with beautiful views, and a few potholes and bumps along the way too. Rather than focusing on the bumps or challenges, we should recognize this is all part of the journey called life and be accepting that it isn’t always a smooth road, but the more we embrace the journey, the easier it is to navigate. Appreciate your journey no matter where it takes you, pivot when its needed, but never stop the car. Just keep going. It’s the journey that matters more than the destination.

Coil the Hose

Don’t ruin the satisfaction of working in the yard only to leave the hose uncoiled in the driveway and back over it with your car! Make the effort to do everything right the first time and save yourself a hassle down the road. We love this phrase because it is the perfect analogy for any project: finish your work to the best of your ability and don’t forget the details!

Running to the Car

Leading author and business coach Joe Calloway spoke at a Hughes Marino retreat and shared the story of Les Schwab, a tire company whose staff would literally run up to customers’ cars as they pulled into the parking lot. This signature act always caught people off guard, and elevated the level of dedicated service they provided to their customers. At Hughes Marino, we are always trying to find ways to provide innovative, proactive service to deliver excellence to our clients, as well as go out of our way to find new ways to “run to the car” for teammates and anyone we meet.

Forward leaning. Nimble. Scrappy. An unquenchable desire to succeed but always with heads held high. – Howard Schultz

Jason and Shay have always been inspired by Starbucks founder, Howard Schultz. Jason has read his book, Onward, many times, and his copy is marked with notes, highlighted concepts and dog-eared pages. Within Onward, one quote in particular really stood out, where Howard described outlining his new company’s goals and missions to his team in a memo. “At the end of the memo, above my signature and in lieu of a traditional “Thank you” or “Sincerely,” I wrote “Onward.” I had never used that word before, but it felt right, like a call to arms that seemed to fit the daunting yet exciting adventure my little company was embarking on. Forward leaning. Nimble. Scrappy. An unquenchable desire to succeed, but always with heads held high.” As Hughes Marino continues to grow, our team continues to be scrappy and nimble like we were in our early days, and we love the mindset of being forward leaning and always with heads held high. This mindset has been a large part of our success, and it’s inspiring to see such an influential business leader outline this concept in his initial note to his employees, well before Starbucks grew to become a global household name!

Everything matters. Literally every thing.

Success never comes easy, and it all starts with the details. Our team loves this quote by Howard Schultz, as it highlights the importance that every single thing matters, no matter how big or how small! Our Core Value #2 is to deliver excellence in everything we do, and our keen attention to detail is one of many aspects that sets us apart in our industry. There are countless attributes that make up the greatness of a team and they literally all matter!

Will this make our team proud?

This is a simple but tremendously powerful question every business leader can ask when making decisions that affect their team. In 2017, members of the Hughes Marino leadership team had the opportunity to meet Howard Schultz at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle, WA. During their meeting, Shay asked Howard how they managed to make so many thousands of decisions right in order to successfully grow Starbucks from a small local company to a worldwide phenomenon? Pretending to pick up a pair of glasses and put them on, Howard described how he and his partners made every decision about the company through the lens of “Will this make our team proud?” This really resonated with Jason and Shay, as they already had this mindset, but hearing it so clearly articulated by Howard reinforced their idea of how to make every decision for the good of our team. We ensure that with every decision we make, we make each other and our clients proud!

“We each have a different role, but we all have the same job—to help the team win.”

We love this because it’s a mantra that can apply to any team, and any company! This is another inspiring quote (and concept) introduced to us by Mike Robbins during an anniversary celebration. It reinforces the fact that while individuals have specific roles within a company, everyone can (and should!) work together to achieve the same ultimate goal: to help the team win!

1% Better

We are constantly on the hunt for motivational reads at Hughes Marino, and best-seller Atomic Habits had an enormous impact on our company. The book by author James Clear focuses on the monumental impact of improving just 1% each and every day. We reflect on this often, both in team meetings and as individuals, which is proving to be a great concept to aid us as we embark on the next exciting chapter of Hughes Marino’s growth. Sometimes in the hectic moments of work and life, we can get overwhelmed trying to juggle our to-do lists, and can feel defeated if we don’t tackle it all. This concept gives us the opportunity to reflect on ways we can make conscious steps daily to become better teammates, to work more efficiently and be better versions of ourselves, even if it’s just incrementally better. By focusing on becoming 1% better daily, we eliminate the pressure of immediate perfection and set ourselves up for success down the road, which is a lesson we can all benefit from. Even better is that this simple act of improving 1% everyday compounds to generate a 37 times improvement over the course of a year! If everyone on the team collectively strives for this, the impact on an organization or team is truly profound!

Don’t worry about winning. Just focus on doing your job at the highest level, every single play, and the wins will follow. – Nick Saban

Nick Saban is the head football coach at the University of Alabama, and considered by many to be at the very top of his profession. During an interview after a game he was asked, “What was the key to your sustained success, to all those wins?” He responded quickly. “Don’t worry about winning, just focus on doing your job at the highest level, every single play, and the wins will follow.” While this may be easier said than done, Nick’s wisdom is very true and can be applied in all aspects of life! By focusing on doing the very best we can, moment by moment, we can achieve big long-term goals. It’s a universal law that focusing on doing our job at the highest level possible every single day will ultimately lead to great success.

Phrases like the ones above help us cultivate a culture of individuals who share freely and authentically. Adding to our HM-isms gives us the opportunity to share the stories, life lessons, aha moments and perspectives of the teammates we see every day. They aren’t just phrases to us, more like treasures. This is a practice that helps to keep our company culture authentic, with the ability to enrich our lives in and out of the office. We hope you find some of our most cherished HM-isms encouraging and helpful on your own journey. As we continue to add to our rolodex of HM-isms, we will be sure to share them with you in the hopes that this will inspire you to create a collection of your own!

Shay Hughes is president & COO of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1-844-662-6635 or shay.hughes@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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